7thNov 2011

"The SETsquared team is friendly, professional, patient, tolerant and supportive. They have been instrumental in Stratus' transformation from an idea into a real company with great potential." Frank Lee, CEO and Co-founder Stratus Transport Connections Ltd ("Stratus") 

Stratus was founded in late 2010 to fulfil a gap in the UK transportation market. Stratus' motto is "Mobile Intelligence for Transport Collaboration" and the company's objective is to transform the economics of outsourced road haulage by enabling major shippers and independent hauliers to work together more effectively and efficiently than has been possible before.

Stratus' product, Rialto, is an internet based market place that brings consumer technology into the business arena and provides the combined capabilities of a freight exchange, transportation management system and social network. While enabling shippers to reduce costs and hauliers to increase utilisation of their assets and revenues, the increase transportation efficiencies created by Rialto also reduce in lower carbon emissions and a reduced impact of road haulage on the environment.

Getting to know SETsquared

When Stratus was founded by two highly experienced managers, Bob Chase and Frank Lee, they "didn't know what they didn't know" about creating a new company, finding venture capital and supportive investors. Despite having identified a clear gap in the market proven management team, initial attempts to raise capital had not been successful.

A chance referral to SETsquared in 2011 was to transform the fortunes of the company. Tough and direct coaching from SETsquared staff and Surrey 100 investors helped Stratus dramatically improve its pitch to potential investors. Highly experienced voluntary mentors provided by SETsquared helped the company hone its strategy.

SETsquared introduced Stratus' founders to potential investors and within six weeks of that initial meeting Stratus had secured the maximum funding that it was seeking, with a proportion of the funding being received from Surrey 100 investors introduced by SETsquared. Supported by SETsquared's guidance, Stratus also obtained a Technology Strategy Board grant. Stratus' pitch was now recognised as "one of the best".


SETsquared now provides high quality office and meeting space at which Stratus' multinational team can conduct its own, customer and investor meetings. In this context, Stratus has also greatly appreciated the eco-system that SETsquared creates for the companies that it nurtures and the way in which these companies are able to seek out synergies and offer support to each other. Stratus has established some initial connections and intends to work with, help and benefit from the skills provided by these fellow SETsquared companies.

SETsquared has recently given the opportunity to Stratus to raise its profile with potential second round investors and the management appreciate the "buzz" created round Stratus.

Next Steps

While the founders of Stratus recognise that there is still a long way to go in the development of their company, they are the first to recognise the contribution made by SETsquared. They look forward to a long-term and successful relationship with SETsquared and giving something back to the next generation of SETsquared companies.